Arrive in the morning at Frankfurt Airport. After clearing Customs and
Immigration, the group will be met by their guide for the entire program in
Germany and Austria. We recommend that group members buy Euros while at the
airport. There will be opportunities during the tour to purchase additional Euros
at local banks and/or currency exchange offices. The group then boards their
private motorcoach for the transfer to Erfurt.
Upon arrival in Erfurt, the driver will drop the baggage at the hotel as it may be too early for immediate checkin. Your guide will take you on an informal walk around the neighborhood where you will be advised about local restaurants for lunch on your own. The rest of the day is free with a group dinner at the hotel.
Overnight in Erfurt.
After breakfast, your guide and motorcoach await to take you on a sightseeing
tour of Erfurt and Eisnach. The morning is spent in Erfurt viewing its Gothic and
German Renaissance Patrician houses, as well as the 600 year old Kraemer Bridge. This famous bridge is adorned with 33 framework houses. You will also visit the Catherdral and the St. Severin Church where Martin Luther attended the university. A tour of the Luther Center is also part of today's program in Erfurt.
After lunch on your own, we continue on to Eisnach where Luther lived as a boy.
We will visit the 11th century Wartburg Castle where he translated the New Testament into German. This impressive castle stands on a hill overlooking the
city and the Warra River. We return back to the hotel in Erfurt with dinner for
the group at the hotel. Overnight in Erfurt.
After breakfast and hotel checkout, the group will board their private coach for
the transfer from Erfurt to Munich. This is a full day transfer through Germany
with a stop for a tour of Nurenberg and lunch their on your own. We suggest that
you try the small but tasty Nuremberger sausages with a glass of good German beer.
Nurenberg is a beautiful city that is most famous with Americans for its war
crimes trials after World War II. The city was almost totally destroyed in 1945
but it's medieval core was lovingly restored to its original beauty. The Altstadt
is the name of the city center which is neatly spliced by the River Pegnitz. This
area is primarily a pedestrian mall with colorful markets and churches. The city's castle has also been fully restored and looks down over the Altstadt.
After lunch and a brief tour of Nurenberg, it's on to Munich. Upon arrival and
hotel checkin, there is some free time for exploration before the group heads to the world famous Hofbrauhaus for a German folkloric show and dinner. Overnight in Munich.
After breakfast, group members will be transferred to a local Munich church for
morning services (recommended for Sunday). After services, its back to the hotel
for checkout and a tour of Munich. The panoramic tour begins by traveling past Prinzregentenstrasse and Maximilianstrasse which is the exclusive shopping street built in the New-Gothic style. From there, its on to the medieval part of Munich with old St. Peter's Church, the Old and New City Hall and the Viktuaienmarkt. We continue on to the Opera House, the Royal Square in Neo-Greek style and the Alte Pinakothek. The latter is Munich's most famous art gallery and it houses one of the largest collections of paintings by Rubens in the world.
The drive then takes us through the Olympiapark (site of the 1972 Summer Olympic Games) and then to Nymphenburg Palace. We will stop in Nymphenburg Palace for a tour. At one time, it was the summer residence of the Wittelsbachers, the German royal family. The palace was a gift to Princess Adelaide who dedicated it to the goddess Flora as a place of recreation and pastoral pleasures. The castle, which is spaciously laid out inside, contains elegant furnishings from three centuries. The "Gallery of Beauties" of King Ludwig I is world famous and King Ludwig II, better known as the "Dream King" was born here.
After completion of this tour of Nymphenburg Palace, the group will proceed by
private coach to Salzburg. Upon arrival in Salzburg, the group will checkin to the
hotel and have dinner there that evening. Overnight in Salzburg.
After breakfast, your guide will collect the group for a walking tour of Salzburg.
As you stroll through this beautiful and charming town, you will see various
Baroque and Romanesque-style churches, quaint corners, interesting shops and
medieval castles overlooking the city. We stop for a tour of the Mozart house
before walking back to the hotel. Lunch and dinner are on your own in this
enchanting city with many restaurants to chose from. Overnight in Salzburg.
After breakfast, it’s time to checkout of the hotel and board the coach for a full
day drive through the Bavarian Alps. However, there are still memorable sites to visit. Our first stop is the German town of Fussen where the fairy tale castle of Neuschwanstein is located. The castle was built by Ludwig II, the "Dream King". We suggest that you wear comfortable shoes today as there will be a brisk walk to the castle's entrance from where the coach leaves the group. After visiting the inside of the medieval castle (it was used as the model for Disneyland), it's on to the Ogau Weiskirche and the town of Oberammergau, the famous village that presents the Passion Play (next performances in 2010). The town is also known for it's painted houses and wood carvers.
After lunch on your own, it’s time to start driving west via Kempton to the resort town of Lindau, which is located on the beautiful shores of Lake Constance, or, as the Germans call it, the Bodensee. You overnight in Lindau and a group dinner is served at your hotel that evening.
After breakfast and hotel checkout, your private coach and guide are waiting to
take you through Germany's fabled Black Forest. In the morning, you will visit
the Gutach Farm Museum where you will experience life in the Black Forest from the
16th to the 20th century. As you set foot into the museum's numerous buildings, you will find yourself standing in the midst of daily life as it was for the former inhabitants of the region. You will also discover how kitchens, parlors and bed chambers were furnished, as well as, how the olden day technologies like the waterwheel driven mill was used.
Along the way, the coach will stop for lunch on your own in one of the quaint
towns and villages of the Black Forest. Later in the afternoon, we arrive into the
beautiful Alsatian city of Strasbourg.
A brief orientation tour of Strasbourg is offered before hotel checkin. Strasbourg is a city with strong French and German influences. The center of the city is made up of many pedestrian-friendly streets and squares. It is an extremely picturesque city, surrounded by the River Ill, with its 15th and 16th century half-timbered houses. The highlight of the city center is the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral. Strasbourg is also known for its outstanding cuisine and its fragrant white wines.
Overnight in Strasbourg.
After breakfast and hotel checkout, your private coach and guide take you to the
magical university city of Heidelberg. The university was founded in 1836 and it
is Germany's oldest. We have time to visit inside the castle and to take a drive
around the city on a panoramic tour.
Our next stop today is in another place that Luther made famous, the city of Worms. This city is known for Luther's celebrated defense before the Diet of Worms in 1521. You will also visit St. Peter's Cathedral, a Romanesque building dating back to the 13th century, and the Luther monument showing him surrounded by the precursers of the Reformation: Valdo, Wycliffe, Hus and Sawonarola with Reuchlin and Melanchton in the background. The Church of the Holy Trinity with its baroque facade and interior that was modeled to commemorate the Luther Reformation, is also included.
From Worms it is a leisurely drive to Rudesheim, a wine town of great interest on the Rhine River. Rudesheim is a resort town known for its wine bars, beer halls and Oom-pah music. After Munich, it is the most famous town in Germany for relaxation and good fun. No tour is needed here. Just look around for the Drosselgasse which is a very narrow pedestrian street and the heart of the
shopping and entertainment district. A group dinner is planned at the hotel.
Overnight in Rudesheim.
Today you have a free morning to shop and sightsee around Rudesheim. Their
is a wine museum to visit, or you can take a ferry ride across the Rhine to the
sister city of Bingen, or you can shop for souvenirs.
During the lunch hours, we are going on a Rhine cruise from Rudesheim to the town of St. Goarshausen. This cruise sails along the most beautiful portion of the Rhine River. Along the way, there are medieval castles overlooking the river on
both sides, picturesque vineyards and quaint little wine villages. The fabled
Loreley Rock is also part of the cruise and its legend will be explained by your
guide. A lunch on your own onboard the ship; of sausages, fries and beer puts you
in the proper frame of mind. At St. Goarhausen, your private coach awaits to take
you back to Rudesheim for a tasting of the local wines. The rest of the day is at
leisure before a farewell dinner that evening at a local Rudesheim wine tavern.
Overnight in Rudesheim.
After breakfast, hotel checkout and according to flight schedule, you board your
private coach for the brief drive to the Frankfurt Airport and the flight home.
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:
Additional hotel overnights, group meals and ground services may be added to the
program, according to budget and time concerns.